李白（701年2月28日—762年），字太白，号青莲居士， 又号“谪仙人”。中国唐朝诗人，有“诗仙”、“诗侠”之称。汉族，祖籍陇西郡成纪县（今甘肃省平凉市静宁县南），出生于蜀郡绵州昌隆县（今四川省江油市青 莲乡），另有说法称出生于西域碎叶（今吉尔吉斯斯坦托克马克）。有《李太白集》传世，代表作有《望庐山瀑布》、《行路难》、《蜀道难》、《将进酒》、《梁 甫吟》、《早发白帝城》等多首。
First information of Li Bo in modern Europe is documented in Jean Joseph Marie Amiot’s in his Portaits des Célèbres Chinois of his Mémoires (1776–1797). Further translations into French were accomplished by Marquis d’Hervey de Saint-Denys in his 1862 Poésies de l’Époque des Thang.
Joseph Edkins read a paper, “On Li Tai-po”, to the Peking Oriental Society in 1888, which was subsequently published in that society’s journal. The English-speaking world was introduced to Herbert Allen Giles translations of Li Bai in Gile’s 1898 publication Chinese Poetry in English Verse, and again in his History of Chinese Literature, in 1901.The third “old school”translator of Li Bo into English was L. Cranmer-Byng (Launcelot Alfred Cranmer-Byng, (1872–1945), whose Lute of Jade: Being Selections from the Classical Poets of China appeared in 1909 and whose A Feast of Lanterns was published in 1916 – both volumes featuring translations of “Li Po”.
More modern renditions of Li Bo’s poetry into English were performed by Ezra Pound (in Cathay, 1915) and Amy Lowell (in Fir-Flower Tablets, 1921), though neither directly from the Chinese: Pound relying on the work of Ernest Fenollosa and professors Mori and Ariga, and Lowell on Florence Ayscough. Witter Bynner with the help of Kiang Kang-hu made some translations (in The Jade Mountain); and, Arthur Waley made a a few translations of Li Bo, although not his preferred poet, into English (in the Asiatic Review, and included in his More Translations from the Chinese). Shigeyoshi Obata, in his 1922 The Works of Li Po, made what he claimed to be “the first attempt ever made to deal with any single Chinese poet exclusively in one book for the purpose of introducing him to the English-speaking world.
Li Bai’s poem Drinking Alone by Moonlight (月下独酌, pinyin: Yuè Xià Dú Zhuó), translated by Arthur Waley, reads:
- 花间一壶酒。 A pot of wine, under the flowering trees;
- 独酌无相亲。 I drink alone, for no friend is near.
- 举杯邀明月。 Raising my cup I beckon the bright moon,
- 对影成三人。 For her, with my shadow, will make three people.
- 月既不解饮。 The moon, alas, is no drinker of wine;
- 影徒随我身。 Listless, my shadow creeps about at my side.
- 暂伴月将影。 Yet with the moon as friend and the shadow as slave
- 行乐须及春。 I must make merry before the Spring is spent.
- 我歌月徘徊。 To the songs I sing the moon flickers her beams;
- 我舞影零乱。 In the dance I weave my shadow tangles and breaks.
- 醒时同交欢。 While we were sober, three shared the fun;
- 醉后各分散。 Now we are drunk, each goes their way.
- 永结无情游。 May we long share our eternal friendship,
- 相期邈云汉。 And meet at last on the paradise.